Inmate dies at Clark County Jail

Apparent suicide is second this week

By Craig Brown, Columbian metro editor

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An inmate was found dead in the Clark County Jail early this morning, apparently as the result of a suicide.

It was the second such death at the jail this week.

Sheriff's Sgt. Fred Neiman said that custody officers were making a routine security check about 12:30 a.m. when they found the man, whose name was not immediately released, unresponsive in his cell.

The officers and jail medical staff began first aid and Vancouver Fire Department paramedics were summoned, but the man could not be revived.

Major crimes detectives will investigate the death. The preliminary indication is the man hanged himself, Neiman said.

The man's body was released to the Clark County Medical Examiner.

Although suicides in the jail are rare, another occurred just last Sunday. Shawn Rahier, 42, was found hanging in a shower stall around lunchtime. He had been arrested on a domestic violence charge.

A county report earlier this year noted there were a record 18 suicide attempts in 2011 in the jail; one inmate died. Suicide attempts at the jail, which has an average daily population of about 700, have more than doubled over the last five years. According to the report, more jail inmates today have mental health and/or addiction issues.